‘The Theory of The 3 Whys – A simple but Powerful way to get Better Answers’

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21st May, 2022

The 3 Whys is precisely what you think it is–asking the question “why?” three times to get to the real root of a question or problem.

A few months ago, I read the book Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success. This was well-timed, as we were finalising the SOPs and processes to be followed at our firm, Sahayak Associates.

If keeping things simple is at the core of one of the most successful and profitable companies in the world (Apple), then I think it can be a guiding principle for us or anyone creating a product or service.

It’s not a coincidence that “why?” is a very simple question. It’s an important realization that we all need to go a few layers deeper before doing important things. Whether it’s creating a new business, adding a new feature to a product, hiring a new employee, buying something expensive, having a tough conversation with a loved one, etc.

This theory doesn’t just work in fictitious scenarios.

I use it fairly often to vet my projects and new business ideas.

Here’s an example from when I recently wanted to develop some SOPs and make an Operations Manual at our workplace:

Me: “I want to create an Operations Manual covering the entire gamut of our operations.”

My Brain: “Why do you want to create that?”

Me: “Because I want to standardise our deliverables and communication with clients & prospects”

My Brain: “Why do you want to standardise the processes & deliverables?”

Me: “It will save time, make us more productive, ensure the right process is followed, lead to lesser mistakes, ensure no false promises are made and make things simple.”

My Brain: “Why aren’t things simply enough today?”

Me: “Because doing things simply is difficult and prone to errors!”

From this little back-and-forth with myself,

I discovered the crux of how and why I wanted to develop SOPs, standardise and automate our processes to be followed.

Try The 3 Whys the next time you’re thinking of making a big decision.

Dive a little deeper and see if you should continue moving forward or if you need to start from scratch.

It may save you a heck of a lot of time, money, and headaches in the future.

Try the 3 Whys and Stay Blessed Forever.